CC done for year. Checks into rehab.


Even if the Yanks win tonight’s wild card showdown in the Bronx against the Astros, their rotation for the ALDS vs. KC took a huge hit.

CC Sabathia checked himself into an alcohol rehab center on Monday and is done for the season.

We can only hope for the best. As Yankee GM Brian Cashman stated, this is a life issue.

CC had a bad season, 6-10, 4.73, ERA+ 84, but with Nathan Eovaldi having missed a few weeks with elbow inflammation, was needed to be a starter in the postseason. Not only that, but since wearing the knee brace, CC was pitching better lately. Add in the fact that CC did have prior postseason experience to bring to the table…

Should the Yanks somehow find a way to win and beat Dallas Keuchel tonight, Masahiro Tanaka, tonight’s starter, most likely wouldn’t be ready again until at least Game 3 of the ALDS. Luis Severino would probably start Game 1 against KC.  Besides those two, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova would now probably be the other two starters, Adam Warren staying in the bullpen to provide help there in middle relief.

Nova, however, has been awful lately, going 2-8, 6.58 in his last 10 starts. He probably would have been passed over for a postseason start if this didn’t happen.

Of course, any talk about the ALDS becomes a moot point if the Yanks lose tonight.

Go Tanaka and go Yankees.

Game 162. Thanks to Arizona, Yanks get WC game at home.


The Yankees ended the season by losing six of their last seven games, ending at 87-75, but will host the wild-card play-in game because Arizona beat Houston 5-3 in the last game of the season.

Ugh. No one likes to “back into” anything.

Michael Pineda was knocked out in the fourth inning today. More discouraging to Yankees’ fans was who replaced him. First Chris Capuano, who was DFA’d FOUR times by the Yanks this year, then Bryan Mitchell, who hasn’t been the same since he was hit in the face by a liner. As someone wrote, the two guys (out of 20 on the expanded roster) with the highest ERAs of anyone with over 8 IP.

The offense disappointed again today, going 1 for 12 with RISP in the 9-4 loss. This isn’t the way you want to enter the playoffs.

Pineda gave up two in the first, but the Yanks did get a run back in the second on an RBI groundout by Ackley, one guy who is hot lately.

But the O’s got 3 in the fourth and the way the Yanks have been playing lately, that was enough. At that point, Yankees’ fans were hoping for Arizona to beat Houston.

Two in the fifth by the Orioles made it 7-1 and ensured that the Yanks would get swept in Baltimore.

The Yanks got one back in the sixth on a Gregorius triple and two in the seventh on a Bird single and Ackley RBI groundout. It made it 7-4 but a two-run HR by Chris Davis (MLB HR leader with 47) made the score 9-4, the final.

The Yanks need to send a BIG gift to Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, whose two-run HR won the game for Arizona and gave the home field advantage for the wild card game to the Yankees.

The Yanks finished 87-75, three games better than last year and two games better than in 2013. Mark Teixeira was (according to WAR) their best player this year by an eyelash over Dellin Betances. The problem, of course, is that Teix missed the last 40 games of the year, and will miss all of the postseason, with a broken leg.

Attendance this year was the lowest since 1998.

So the Yanks will face Houston Tuesday night at home, and although I will be rooting hard for the Yanks (winner goes to KC), it isn’t promising. Still, anything could happen in one game.


it’ll be Tanaka (12-7,  3.51) vs. Keuchel (20-8, 2.48). Keuchel beat the Yanks twice this year, pitching a CG six-hit shutout with 12 K on June 25, and pitching seven innings of 3-hit shutout ball on August 25 with 9 K. 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 21 K. Ugh. The Yanks can only hope he is off (3 days rest) on Tuesday night.

Tanaka faced Houston once this year, and it wasn’t good. 6 R in 5 IP on June 27.

The Yanks are a lefty-leaning lineup that has been hurting without the switch-hitting Teixeira’s bat from the right side.

Against the lefty Keuchel, you wonder what Girardi will do with the lineup, especially since lefty hitters Ellsbury (ended the year at .257, terrible for a table-setting leadoff hitter making $22MM and who is just .224-6-27 with just 7 SB since coming off the DL July 8). That is certainly NOT setting the table as the leadoff hitter.

McCann is 8 for 58 since Sept. 12. (.138).

Gardner, like Ellsbury, finished under .260. That is NOT setting the table. You wanted both to hit .280-.290 with about 35-40 SB apiece. Instead both finished under .260 with 41 SB—–COMBINED.

Since September 12, Gardner is 12 for 72….  .167.  I don’t mean to discourage, but those are three lefty bats all struggling, and you are facing a lefty pitcher in Keuchel on Tuesday night.

Since Sept 12, Headley is 12 for 71… slightly better than the .167 of Gardner, and Headley is a switch-hitter.  Another struggling.

Does Girardi have the guts to go with Refsnyder at 2B,  Murphy at C and Young in CF or LF, especially since McCann, Ellsbury and Ellsbury have been struggling so badly? Does he play Ackley in LF for the struggling Gardner?

Does he take it one step further and play Ryan at 3B?

With Ellsbury, McCann, Gardner all struggling, could he go with an innovative lineup vs. Keuchel such as…

Young CF
Refsnyder 2B
A-Rod DH
Beltran RF
Bird 1B
Murphy C
Ackley LF
Gregorius SS
Ryan 3B

Tanaka P

and bring off the bench if needed against a righty pitcher Ellsbury, McCann, Headley and Gardner?

I doubt it. But those four have been killing the Yanks recently. If in the lineup, they have to wake up.

As for today…

Pineda (L, 12-10, 4.37) 3 2/3 IP, 4 R,  6 H, 0 walks and 5 K.
Capuano 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 7.97
Mitchell 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 0 K. 6.37
Pazos 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walks and 2 K. 0.00 (don’t see how they don’t take him for the postseason roster).
Bailey 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 0 K. 8.31
Pinder 1 IP, 0 r, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.93 (Should merit consideration).
Wilson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.10
Miller 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.04
Cotham 1/3 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K 6.52 

You hope Tanaka can give you 7 strong (preferably scoreless) and then go to Wilson, Betances and Miller. The bullpen has been shaky lately, showing signs of wear. But Tanaka has to have a good game and go deep.

The Yanks have to play littleball, which they haven’t played (or been good at) this year. They can’t expect to bomb Keuchel out. They have to scratch for runs, steal, hit and run, bunt runners over and not go, say 0 for 10 with RISP. They must take advantage of all their opportunities.

And Joe Girardi must go for broke. I’m interested in what lineup he puts out there Tuesday night; if he benches some guys.

I remember Billy Martin benching Reggie Jackson for Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS for Paul Blair because Reggie could not hit Splittorff.

Maybe Girardi channels Martin and benches some guys.

We will see.

One game. Let’s go Yankees.

Playoff update

Update: I thought that if there is a Game 163 that the Yanks, due to better record, would host the play-in wild card game. I am mistaken. MLB won’t hold that game against the loser of Game 163 if there is a playoff for the AL West title. So if the Yanks are 87-75 they will still play at the loser of Game 163 even though that loser would be 87-76. Yeah, confusing.

If the Yankees lose, the Astros win, and the Rangers lose … then the Rangers and Astros will tie for the American League West at 87-75 (same as Yanks) and play a tiebreaker on Monday. The loser of that game will be the other wild card team hosting the Yankees on Tuesday, despite the Yanks being 87-75 to the other team’s 87-76.

So it comes down to Yanks must win or Houston must lose. If neither happens, the Yanks are on the road on Tuesday.

Game 161. The Yanks are killing us. They literally throw this one away, 4-3.


The Yanks literally threw this game away, thanks to Dellin Betances.

As a result, the Yanks are very much in danger of having to play that wild card play-in game on the road at Houston. 

If the Yanks lose the regular season finale tomorrow vs. the Orioles, and Houston wins, the Yanks are headed to Houston for the wild card game UNLESS the Angels beat Texas, forcing a 163rd game for the division title between Texas and Houston whereupon the winner is AL West champ and the loser heads to the Bronx.

In other words, Yankee fans must root for:

  1. the Yanks to win.
  2. Houston to lose or
  3. If the Yanks lose and Houston wins, then for the Angels to beat Texas. That would force a 163rd game wherein the winner would be 88-65 and win the AL West but the loser would be 87-76 and behind the Yankees’ 87-75.

Luis Severino wasn’t on, giving up a HR to his first batter and two runs in the first, and another solo HR in the third, but the 21 yr. old rookie gutted it out by giving up just 3 R in 7 IP.

The Yanks got a run in the second on a SF by Gregorius to cut it to 2-1.

In the fifth, Slade Heathcott doubled in a run to cut it to 3-2 and Carlos Beltran walked with the bases loaded to tie the game. The slumping (down to .232) Brian McCann left the bases loaded by making out. It would come back to haunt the Yanks.

In the bottom of the eighth, Dellin Betances relieved Severino and gave up a hit. A WP moved the runner to second and after a strikeout, a bunt single put runners on first and third. The SECOND WP of the inning forced in a run. Then a strikeout, intentional walk to set up a force and strikeout. But those two wild pitches in the inning by Betances doomed the Yanks to a 4-3 loss.

With one out in the ninth, A-rod singled, but PR Rico Noel was picked off before Chase Headley made an out to end the game.                           

Severino 7 IP, 3 r, 5 H, 0 walks and 6 K. 2.89. Gutty outing by a 21 year old. He finishes the year 5-3, 2.89 in 11 starts.

Betances (L, 6-4 1.50) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walks and 3 K but 2 WP.

Game 160. Yanks lose opener, 9-2. Magic number for home game Tuesday still at 1.


The Yanks lost the opener of a day-night DH to Baltimore 9-2 today (Saturday). The magic number to have that wild card play-in game played at home remains at one. A Yankees win in the nightcap tonight (provided they play, what with the weather) or a Houston loss will ensure the Yanks are at home on Tuesday night for the play-in game.

It wasn’t a good game for the Yanks in many ways. Ivan Nova and Chasen Shreve, both not pitching well lately and both on the bubble as far as making the postseason roster, didn’t pitch well today again. The Yanks also missed out on opportunities, going 1 for 12 with RISP.

I wouldn’t be surprised if neither Nova or Shreve is on the postseason roster. Nova is 6-11 with an ERA over 5.00. He is 2-8 in his last 10 starts with a 6.58 ERA. Meanwhile, Shreve in his last nine games has given up nine runs in five innings.

Down 7-0, the Yanks only two runs came in the seventh  on an RBI groundout by Gardner followed by an RBI single by Refsnyder.

Rico Noel did get his first MLB at bat and he made the most of it, getting a single in the ninth.

Also getting his first MLB at bat, making his MLB debut was Gary Sanchez, who popped up after Noel’s hit.

Nova (L, 6-11, 5.07) 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 walks and 4 K.
Shreve 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.09.
Goody 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 4.76
Martin 1 IP, 0 r, 1 h, 0 W, 1 K. 5.66.

Yanks rained out. DH scheduled for Saturday. Some playoff scenarios.


The Yankees were rained out on Friday night, and with this hurricane coming up the East coast, we’ll have to see what happens this weekend.

The Yanks are scheduled for a day/night DH today (Saturday). First game 12:05, second at 7:05.

The lineup that was to have played Friday night was one that would have rested regulars. Gary Sanchez would have made his MLB debut catching Severino. Rico Noel would have played in RF and presumably would finally get his first MLB at bat after just pinch running and being a defensive replacement. John Ryan Murphy would have been at 1B. Slade Heathcott, Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder would all have been in the lineup.

We’ll see how Girardi makes out the lineups today….or even if ANY game gets in.

Meanwhile, Houston won big and the Yanks magic # to have that wild card game played in the Bronx remains at one.

There are many scenarios…

If the Yanks don’t win another game, and finish tied with Houston at 87 wins, meaning Houston wins out, that wild card game would be in Houston and not in Yankee Stadium because Houston won 4 of the 7 games the two teams played against each other this year.

If the Angels or Twins are the wild card, the game would be in Yankee Stadium.

The only way the Twins are in is to win both their remaining games, have Houston lose its remaining games, and have Texas and the Angels split their remaining games. That would put three teams at 85 wins.  From…

In the three-team tie, we’d have to have the three teams choose/receive their A, B and C designations, with Club C traveling to face the winner of the game between Clubs A and B to determine who advances to the Wild Card Game. So how is that decided? Here goes.

The three designations are decided by head-to-head records (with intradivision records the next determining factor, followed by intraleague records).

Think of this almost like a draft, and the team with the “first pick” can choose the scenario it likes best. A team might rather play two games than one if it gets to host both, which is why a team might choose to be Club A rather than Club C. On the other hand, a team could choose Club C designation if it wants to rest a star pitcher and take its chance in one winner-take-all game, even if it is on the road.

So let’s say the Angels, Astros and Twins end up tied for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Angels, who were 14-12 against those other teams, would get first choice, followed by the Astros (13-12) and Twins (5-8).

Texas is in, but we don’t know as what yet. Most likely as division champ. But let’s say that Texas loses their last two games to the Angels,  and Houston wins their remaining games. But the Yanks lose out and wind up at 87-75. Both Texas and Houston wind up with 87 wins and the Angels are eliminated with only 86 wins.

There would be a 163rd game between Houston and Texas, with the game being played at the Rangers, to determine the AL West champ. The loser would face the Yankees in the Bronx.

Were Houston and Texas to finish the season in a tie atop the AL West, they would play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday, Oct. 5. Home-field advantage would go to the Rangers, thanks to having already clinched the head-to-head against the Astros. The winner of this game would advance to the Division Series, while the loser would head to the Wild Card Game.

So the winner of that game would be 88-75, the Yanks would be 87-75 and the loser, at 87-76, would be going to the Bronx.

Got it? I know…. confusing.

But the Yanks can make home-field for the wild card game all theirs with just one more win. Make it happen, Yankees, and then just sit back and see who you play in the Bronx on Tuesday.

Of course, the Yanks can win, then root for a 163rd game that goes 15 innings or so and tires out whoever they would play on Tuesday. Now that is a best-case scenario.

Now as for who the Yankees would play if they win the wild card play-in game?

Right now, Toronto & KC are tied with the best record in the league. The Blue Jays beat the Royals 4 games to 3 this season, so Toronto would get the tiebreaker.

Game 159. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 4-1 win. Win is #10000 in franchise history.


The Yanks won the 10000th game in franchise history, and the win put the Yanks into the 2015 postseason. They had missed the postseason the previous two seasons.

The 4-1 win over Boston put them into the postseason. One Yankees win or one Houston loss will ensure that Tuesday night’s wild card play-in game will be played in the Bronx.

CC Sabathia, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances combined for the win, and the Yanks used three homers for the offense. Two of the homers were by rookies.

The Yanks got two in the second on a HR by Carlos Beltran (19, #392 career) and after a couple of walks, a single by Brendan Ryan.

Boston got a run in the fifth, but the Yanks got some late insurance when Greg Bird hit a HR (11) in the seventh and Rob Refsnyder hit one (2) in the eighth.

Sabathia (W, 6-10, 4.73) 5 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 3 walks and 3 K.
Warren 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 3.29
Betances (9th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.41.

Now for a little rest, see what the weather does this weekend, and get ready for Tuesday.